Reviews tagging Gaslighting

I Kissed Shara Wheeler, by Casey McQuiston

15 reviews

foldingthepage_kayleigh's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

Cute, fun, mysterious. A great summer read filled with queer joy to bolster your spirits. 

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leighannebfd3b's review

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lighthearted mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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bibliomania_express's review against another edition

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challenging emotional funny mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5


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fanboyriot's review against another edition

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lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

I seriously loved so many of the characters in this book.  Chloe, Smith, Rory and at the end even Shara—which was surprising—were all my absolute favorites.

At first I wasn’t sure I’d like this story, kinda just seeing most of the characters as their stereotype, however, much like Chloe, I learned they were so much more.  It was really nice to see so much queer rep with a small town setting (and in a typically queerphobic state as well).

I really enjoyed so many things about this book, Smith and his love for flowers, Chloe’s moms just being so adorable and wholesome the entire time, religious characters not shown in a totally toxic way, seeing the queen bee, popular girl, who everyone loved, not be as perfect as everyone thought, wanting to learn more about the side characters because they were that nice to read about, the humor was immaculate, and the ending was perfect; happy but leaving it open enough for the reader to have their own interpretation of some of the characters future.  Not to mention the formatting and overall aesthetic of this book being absolutely stunning.

Good queer rep
Rivals to Lovers
Good Friendships
Wholesome Characters
Angst with a Happy Ending

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emily_journals's review against another edition

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mysterious slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

I absolutely LOVED Casey McQuiston's past 2 books... and this one did not have the same standard as those two unfortunately. This book wasn't bad, but it definitely was not as good as Red, White, and Royal Blue or One Last Stop. Red, White, and Royal Blue didn't have the most incredible supporting cast, but the two main characters were so likeable and there was so much wit and humor in the book that it made up for the standard supporting cast. One Last Stop went a step further and took a lot of the whit and humor that shined in Red, White, and Royal Blue, and added an absolutely STUNNING supporting cast. This book... didn't have either of those things. Both of the main characters were.... awful? They weren't poorly written or characterized, but they both were genuinely not good people, and I could not find myself rooting for them. They're both mean to each other in the worst ways, and they are both equally as awful to their friends (Shara especially is really mean spirited and manipulative to everyone in her life).  Additionally, I absolutely could not feel any chemistry between them.  In addition, the supporting cast had the potential to be really incredible, but just ended up being somewhat uninspired aside from a few stand out characters.  The plot was the main driving force of this book, which is not true of Red, White, and Royal Blue or One Last Stop (I would say both of those books are very much character driven books with a plot added on as a nice ribbon to tie everything together). The exception to this is Smith and Rory; they both had really good character arcs and were really shining characters (and almost all of the wit came from one of them). The mystery of WHERE IS SHARA WHEELER? also felt really unnecessary and superfluous. I think this story would have been just fine without the little scavenger hunt that takes up more than half the book (which is fully of inconsistencies and confusion). If McQuiston was really set on having this weird mystery, I think they should have done a lot more work on it, because it ended up being quite clunky and boring to read.  I think this story would have faired much better if the clues and mystery and Shara just up and vanishing was replaced with something a little more believable and compelling. I get that the whole point of the letters was to get Chloe to talk to these people that she had subconsciously categorized as high school stereotypes with no substance, but I think the method to having Chloe discover this could have been handled a lot better to make the story more compelling.

Overall, this book was fine, but I found myself extremely disappointed with it because of how much I've loved McQuiston's previous works. This book was perfectly average, with (mostly) vanilla characters, and a dull plot, which is not a way I would describe either of McQuiston's previous works. I think that this book had a lot of important themes for younger readers, but I don't think it stands close to McQuiston's other works, and might recommend people to skip this one if they're reading it solely because they enjoyed those two books. 

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mallory10100's review

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

WOW i loved this book so much 

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patricktreads's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional hopeful mysterious reflective tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

So this is my first book by Casey (yes I know), so I was really nervous that I would be really excited and then the work not meet expectation. 

I was BLOWN AWAY! I’ve always loved a good mystery and I loved the character growth that came from this one. This book had the mystery, it had the drama, it had the representation, and it even had pre-read content warnings. That last one was also everything.

I had no clue that this book would be set in Alabama. That was a pleasant surprise. What was more exciting is the fact that this fictional town is actually only set about an hour from my hometown. It was exciting to have a story with parts of my home represented. 

I also connected with the main characters experiences. A lot of these small towns in the south are very spot on to the description laid out by the author. 

Last note to add is if you have the chance, the audio book is exceptional. I was given access to an arc by audio, and the narrator was spectacular. They didn’t just read the lines of the book, they absolutely performed the pages. At one point our main character cries and the narrator is so spot on that I could feel the pain in the words. 

Absolute recommend!

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cozyreadsandcoffee's review

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emotional funny hopeful lighthearted reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

I think this book fell short of what I know Casey Mcquiston can do. 

I think Chloe was almost too whiny and superficial to enjoy her journey. [Don't get me started on her valedictorian speech] I think  I would have enjoyed this more if given the perspectives of Rory and Smith because having it from just Chloe's viewpoint became almost superficial. 

I think also being in a small town, the seriousness of kids getting outed to their families was not as much as it should have been. It just seemed there wasn't much on this topic as I thought there would be. 

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emilypete17's review

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

This book is like the chaotic queer lovechild of a John Green novel and all of your favorite coming of age movies from the past decade. Casey McQuiston knows just where to hit me to make me bawl my eyes out and snort-laugh every single page. I wish I had this book in high school, and I'm so glad there are other queer kids in the south who have it now and maybe will finally be able to see a piece of themselves on the page.

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toofondofbooks_'s review

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

Please respect my privacy for the next however many months I have to wait until the next CM book comes out. I am having PMD - Post McQuiston Depression.

I loved this book so much.

I don't want to summarize it here because honestly it's 1am right now and I'm tired. All I want is to talk about why I loved this, and if you happen to be interested in a synopsis, go read one. 😂

The first thing that absolutely gripped me was that the main character is a weird queer girl who is obsessed with The Phantom of The Opera. At which point, I had to wonder if Chloe Green is actually just....ME. The cast of characters were funny and smartly written and most importantly they were diverse while also often getting their own moments to shine in ways that did not directly affect our main character. That, to me, is lovely. Actually, the entirety of this book was smartly written. It didn't make me cringe because "ew kids don't talk like this" because....kids absolutely do talk like that. I loved how realistically identity struggles were shown and seeing kids written with the courage to stand up against bigotry and learning to be themselves. I loved it. I loved the whole thing.

You can talk smack about Casey McQuiston all you want, but if I had this book when I was growing up queer, I would be a different person right now, and for the better. This kind of representation is life-saving.

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